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Was Christ’s “Grave Clothes” – The Shroud Of Turin?

The Shroud of Turin?

Here at Easter time we usually see movies about the “Shroud of Turin” which some have thought to be Christ’s burial garment.  However, according to the Biblical record, Christ was not buried in a shroud. After His crucifixion Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took the body and prepared it for burial:

John 19:38-40: “And after this Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore and took the body of Jesus.

 “And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.”

“Then took they the body of Jesus and wound it in linen clothes, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.”

Note that the mixture of aloes and spices were “about an hundred pound weight.” The Greek word for ‘weight’ here is litra, which was equal to our modern weight of about 12 ounces, or roughly ¾ of a pound. Therefore, the hundred litra weight would equal about 75 pounds in modern English terms.

The Body Was “Wound” With the Spices

Note that they “took the body of Jesus and ‘wound’ it in linen clothes with the spices.”  to ‘wind’ something is to take it in a circular or spiral course or direction This would mean that they wrapped the strips of linen around and around his body. The linen strips were cut or torn strips of the linen that were soaked in the spice mixture and wound around His body as we have seen pictures of mummified bodies, embalmed for burial.  After drying, this would have formed a hard, cast-like cocoon for the body. It was not wrapped loosely in a shroud, contrary to the popular story of the Shroud of Turin.

What Was “The Manner Of The Jews”?

The text says: “… as the manner of the Jews is to bury.” The “manner of the Jews to bury” is further indicated in John 11:44 where we see that Lazarus, being raised from the dead, his “grave clothes” had him bound hand and foot, and there was a “napkin” binding his face. That napkin binding his face was not attached to the other “grave clothes.” Jesus commanded him to be loosed. These accounts of Jewish burial, that of Jesus and of Lazarus, indicate that the the manner of the Jews for burial was that the bodies were not merely loosely wrapped in a shroud, but rather were tightly bound, the head being wrapped separately from the body.

We also have the much earlier story of Joseph’s “grave clothes” in Genesis 50:25-26 which may give us a precedent for the “grave clothes” of Jesus and Lazarus. “And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”

The rest of the story is in Exodus 13:19: “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away from hence with you.” So the embalming of Joseph, in the manner of the Egyptian mummies,  became a part of the traditions of the Jews.

What Did They See In The Empty Tomb?

On resurrection morning, Mary Magdalene had visited the tomb and saw that Jesus’ body was not there. She hurried to tell the disciples. John 20:3-8:

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher. So they ran both together and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying, yet went not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed.

What was it about the “grave clothes” that made them believe? It was not merely a shroud lying there, but rather it was that hard shell of the cast-like cocoon,  not broken nor disturbed, but empty! The body was gone from it! Jesus came out of the “grave clothes” without disturbing them. The body wrap was separate from the head wrap but both were totally intact, not broken, but empty! That glorified Body of Jesus went through that cocoon just as it went through the walls where the disciples had met and “the doors were shut,” but Jesus stood in their midst. His glorified Body could not be held by walls, doors, nor grave clothes!

No human power could have removed the body of Jesus from those “grave clothes” without tearing or breaking the cocoon-cast. Seeing was believing. There was only one answer to the empty grave clothes: He is risen!!

He is risen! The Lord is risen indeed!

Warning: “Another Gospel”

Recently we were startled to hear a prominent television evangelist make a strictly partisan political statement, claiming that his avowed political stance was “the Gospel.”
The following Scriptures speak of “another Gospel” which is a perversion of the Truth:

Galatians 1:6-9 KJV – “6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.


2 Corinthians 11:4 KJV – “4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him].

Amplified Version 2 Corinthians 11:4: “For you seem readily to endure it if a man comes and preaches another Jesus than the One we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you once received or a different gospel from the one you then received and welcomed; you tolerate all that well enough!”

The true Gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Jesus is the King of King’s and the Lord of Lords, Revelation 19:16. There is no salvation in any other:

Act 4:12 KJV – 12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Restoration of Israel

“Act 1:4-8 KJV – 4 And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me.

5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

When Was Israel Restored?

The Jews In the New Testament era were expecting the promised Messiah and the restoration of Israel. The Pharisees believed this would be a great conquering military man who would lead an army into a war that would deliver Israel from the power of Rome through carnal warfare. So they crucified their Messiah.

But the promised restoration was not to be through carnal warfare, but through the deliverance of salvation from their sins. Their big enemy was sin, not Rome; it was sin that caused death. Jesus had fully taught His disciples the Truth by demonstration of the power of the Spirit of the true Kingdom of God. Then they had watched in surprise as their Messiah submitted to the cross and was buried in a tomb. But they had also been surprised by His resurrection. He had truly triumphed, not merely over Caesar, but over death, hell and the grave.

A Forty-Day Seminar

After His resurrection, for forty days He taught them the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God, (Acts 1:4). Now He is telling them to go to Jerusalem and “wait for the promise of the Father, which ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”

This Didn’t Fit Their Template

But this wasn’t the scenario they thought was to be carried out. When was the Kingdom going to be restored to Israel? So Jesus gave them the answer, but not according to their questioning:

7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

His Way Worked!

Follow the story through the Book of Acts. They obeyed His command and were filled with the Holy Ghost. Jews from all over the earth were there to witness this miraculous event, Acts 2:5-11. But Peter, under the unction of the Holy Ghost, rose up to preach and to interpret for them what was happening. Read it in Acts 2:40.

He declares to them that the prophesy of David is being fulfilled. He quotes from the Psalms to show that Jesus is the promised Seed of David that would sit on the Throne of Israel, Acts 2:30-36. The Kingdom has been restored to Israel for they now have their eternal King upon the throne!

So What Happened to the Old Israel?

And the rest of the Book of Acts and the Epistles are the record of how that Kingdom was preached throughout the known world at that time, (Colossians 1:6, 23). The Kingdom was being filled with the Gentiles and all those Jews who would believe. Therefore they knew it was time for Jesus’ words concerning the end of the old order of the fleshly kingdom to end:

Matthew 24:14, 34-35 KJV – 14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. … 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

The old Jerusalem had become Sodom and Gomorrah when they crucified Christ, Revelation 11:8. The New Jerusalem, the Church, became the Bride of Christ and was bearing children to Him:

Galatians 4:25-31 KJV – “25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

27 For it is written, Rejoice, [thou] barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him [that was born] after the Spirit, even so [it is] now.

30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”

And even now, this New Jerusalem, the Church, the Bride of Christ, is ready to welcome all who will come;

Revelation  22:17, 20 KJV – 17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. … 20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus”.

The Re-Gathering of Israel

Is the modern state called “Israel” the fulfilling of Biblical prophecy regarding the re-gathering of the nation of Israel? Look what the Bible actually says about it:

It was foretold by the Old Testament Prophecies:

Genesis 49:10 KJV – 10 “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be]. [‘Shiloh’ means the Messiah, Jesus.]

Isaiah 11:10-12 KJV – 10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” [This was fulfilled in Jesus as the Scriptures reveal.]

Even the Law allowed the “Stranger” to become as the natural born through faith:

Under the law, there were many who qualified as ‘Jews’ who were not necessarily of the genetic bloodline of Abraham, but followed his faith, and kept the Covenant :

Exodus 12:48-50 KJV – “48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. 49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you. 50 Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.” [To “come near” means to become a naturalized citizen.]

Numbers 15:14-16 KJV – “14 And if a stranger sojourn with you, or whosoever [be] among you in your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD; as ye do, so he shall do. 15 One ordinance [shall be both] for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth [with you], an ordinance for ever in your generations: as ye [are], so shall the stranger be before the LORD. 16 One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.”

Jesus Birth Was In Fulfillment of These Promises

The angel’s message to Mary shows that Jesus’ birth was the fulfillment of prophecy :
Luke 1:31-33 KJV – “31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

Luke 1:54-55 KJV – 54 “He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of [his] mercy; 55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.”

Zecharias’ Prophecy:

Luke 1:68-74 KJV – 68 Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear.”

Devout Jews And Proselytes From Every Nation Witnessed the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit:

Acts 2:5-11 KJV – “5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”

Jesus Gathered Together All of His Own

John 11:49-52 KJV – “49 And one of them, [named] Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”

Ephesians 3:3-6 KJV – “3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”

Galatians 3:28-29 KJV – “28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

The true Israel of God was, and is, gathered together in Christ! Beware of false pretenders!

The Remnant of Israel

Who Are “The Remnant” who escape the ‘Mark of the Beast’?

Revelation 19:20-21 KJV – “20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

“21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”

The Remnant Were Slain

How were they slain? By the sword of the Rider Upon the White Horse, Revelation 19:11-16:   “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

“12 His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

“13 And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

“14 And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

“15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

What is this “sword” out of His mouth? Ephesians 6:17:  “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” 

The Rider on the White Horse is Jesus. The sword of His mouth is the Word of God.

Must we die to live?

Rom 8:10- “And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

“Col 3:3-6 “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.”

2 Timothy  2:11:  “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with [him], we shall also live with [him].”